Sunday, December 05, 2021

Gov. Garcia urges ERC to help solve Bantayan Island’s power supply problems

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. (File photo)

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has appealed to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to provisionally allow a new power generator to operate in Bantayan Island, to solve the power outages in the area.

The governor urged the ERC to grant provisional authority to Isla Norte Energy Corp. (Inec) so it can supply power in the island, which comprises the municipalities of Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe.

Garcia made the call during a meeting at the Capitol on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, with officials from the ERC, Inec, Bantayan Electric Cooperative (Banelco), Bantayan Island Power Corp. (Bipcor) and the mayors Santa Fe and Madridejos, the provincial government media outfit Sugbo News reported.

In an interview with reporters, the governor said if the island could experience brownouts again, the appliances could be damaged. It also could affect the tourism industry of the place, which could result in loss of jobs or tourism sector workers.

Garcia made the appeal to the ERC after Banelco, the island’s power distributor, posted an advisory in its Facebook page, telling its consumers that the new power generator Ine’s testing and commissioning ended last Oct. 18.

Bipcor resumed providing the power supply, Banelco said.

“Tungod kay dili man maayo ang kondisyon sa ilang mga makina, adunay posibilidad nga makasinati na usab kita ug rotational brownouts,” read Banelco’s advisory. (Since their machines are not in good condition, there is a possibility that we will again experience rotational brownouts.)

Banelco requires an average of 7.5 megawatts daily to supply the whole Bantayan island.

Inec, a partnership between Vivant Energy Corp. and Gigawatt Power Inc., has built a 23.3-megawatt diesel power plant that will provide the long-term power requirement of the island. It was awarded a 15-year contract to supply Banelco following a successful competitive selection process.

Inec’s contract is supposed to start on Nov. 8; however, Banelco said that Inec can supply before Nov. 8 if the ERC would issue provisional authority or certificate of compliance to Inec. / KAL. PR


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